• Greece
    • Thessaloniki
Academic Year, Fall, Short Term, Spring, Summer, Winter
Subject Areas
Business Classical Studies Conflict Studies Conservation and Preservation Cultural Studies Entrepreneurship European Studies Global Studies History Human Rights Humanities Peace Studies Political Science Public Relations Service Learning Social Sciences +6
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
Apartment Host Family


Price Details
The fees, for this customizable program, can cover tuition, lodging, international airfare (restrictions apply), airport transfers, orientations, excursions, service-learning placement and oversight and emergency medical/evacuation insurance. Work with IPSL's program director to create a program that suits your interests, goals and budget.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Classes Some Meals Travel Insurance
What's Included (Extra)

The fees, for this customizable program, can cover tuition, lodging, international airfare, airport transfers, orientations, excursions, service-learning placement and oversight and emergency medical/evacuation insurance. Work with IPSL's program director to create a program that suits your budget.

What's Not Included
Airfare Some Meals SIM cards Visa Wifi
What's Not Included (Extra)

Passport; visa; vaccine fees; international airfare; additional meals not included in homestay or lodge; books; personal spending money; local personal transportation; local transportation to service site; local cell phone and independent travel.

Aug 25, 2023
May 18, 2019
8 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Are you looking to explore the ancient and modern? Study and volunteer in Thessaloniki! There are so many choices (and reasons) to experience the IPSL Greece program. Learn about the Mediterranean diet & lifestyle or work with refugees and displaced persons, social activism, youth empowerment micro-enterprise and more. This program is a unique opportunity to get involved in hands-on learning in a part of the world that is at once ancient and modern, urban and rural.

"The opportunity I had to travel to Greece has only deepened my sense of curiosity about the world: a panoply of beautiful landscapes, architecture, languages, cuisines, and cultures all existing on the same planet floating in space together: get out and explore while you can! My sense as a global citizen has heightened, my sensitivity to cultural chauvinism sharpened, and my feelings of humanism enriched." IPSL alum Jake

Experience Greece like a local...not a tourist!

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

IPSL is in solidarity with all summoned to action by the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many other black brothers and sisters. IPSL wants to be of service to you and communities around the world to bring justice and healing and further advance the goals we all share. ​We believe in the power of service to unite and strengthen communities.

LGBTQIA+ Support

IPSL admits and does not discriminate against students of any sex or sexual orientation. IPSL is proud to support social justice movements around the world through our Service, Scholarship, and Love. Then, as now, we are called to resist and speak out for what is right. LGBTQ+ Rights are Human Rights

Neurodivergent Support

IPSL provides equal access to our programs for academically qualified students with physical, learning, or psychiatric disabilities.

Accessibility Support

IPSL admits students of any disability and makes available all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students. It does not discriminate on the basis of disability in administration of its educational policies and programs, admission policies, merit scholarships or other organizations-administered programs.



IPSL works to lessen its carbon footprint on our increasingly fragile planet. Since study abroad can only take place by boarding a plane, IPSL contributes to sustainable projects in several countries whose efforts help mitigate the harmful effects of pollution and waste that result from traveling. In one academic year, IPSL can contribute funding to environmental organizations to offset close to 600,000 air miles flown by our students, staff, and faculty. In concrete terms, we remit funds to help plant trees around the world; those trees then absorb some of the harmful effects that result from our decisions.

Ethical Impact

Since 1981, IPSL has facilitated over 471,000 volunteer hours in our partner communities, supported the work of hundreds of nonprofits and NGOs around the world, vigorously (and unapologetically) promoted social-racial-economic justice through service-based programming, research and publishing, scholarships/funding, and on social media. Recently, our organization launched new initiatives that will sustain our service-based mission into the future. At home, we maintain the same mindful practices by supporting local organizations that support the most vulnerable people. Large and small, every decision we make is about giving back and making our world a better and more just place.

IPSL specializes in volunteer-based study abroad programming. All programs are credit-bearing and will provide an official transcript upon completion of the program.

On average, 15 HOURS per week will be spent volunteering in addition to 6-21 semester credits worth of course work. Our programs are small cohorts of dedicated, service-minded students who that receive individualized attention from our staff.

Program Highlights

  • Experience Greece like a local...not a tourist! Students live with a Greek family which enriches and deepens the experience. Make life-long friends, gain better language proficieny and get to know the culture from "the inside"!
  • Volunteer Service that addresses real human needs! Volunteer with organizations that serve Refugees; support the homeless & at-risk youth; work with disadvantaged pre-school & primary school children; fight discrimination; and much more!
  • Explore community organizing and social activism (COSA) with the goal of learning how to effectively translate these ideas & techniques into a concrete knowledge of social activism.
  • IPSL is a Social Benefit Organization with over 83% of profits directly returned to the people, communities & NGOs they partner with abroad.
  • Take IPSL's 'Mediterranean Diet & Lifestyle' course and enjoy Greece's amazing cuisine (& wines)!

Program Reviews

4.67 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 5 rating 66.67%
  • 4 rating 33.33%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4
  • Support 4.7
  • Fun 4.35
  • Housing 4.35
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

IPSL Semester Thessaloniki

This was the first time the program was run independently from any school and it was a bit disorganized.
My service site (the main reason I did this program) was an 2:30 hrs away from where I lived and getting there was pretty expensive. The program director gave me 100€ to pay for the transportation but it only covered one of the three months I was there. I found my own service in the city and volunteered there as well. The program was only two students and this made socializing hard. Overall, it was a good experience but there was still some things that need to be taken care of if they want to have a very successful program. My host family was great, the food was always excellent and Thessaloniki is a fun city to live in. I wish I had spoken Greek and had more Greek classes.

What would you improve about this program?
There needs to be more organization with the program, especially academically.
105 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A hands-on, interactive cultural experience

During my time in Thessaloniki, Greece, I had the opportunity to learn about and experience Greek culture through a variety of hands-on opportunities. I had the privilege to volunteer with refugees in Thessaloniki, go on many guided tours of the city, experience a wine and olive oil tasting, and go on a few excursions to nearby towns - including a day hike on Mount Olympus. I really feel as though I had a well rounded experience during my time in Greece, and would love to do it all again. IPSL did a great job facilitating my experience not only in Greece, but also my experiences in Spain and Italy, which were also included in my program.

What would you improve about this program?
This program could be improved by having more immersion activities. The immersion activities that I experienced during my program were great, however I wish there were more opportunities for this kind of experience. Although I felt like I learned a lot about Greek culture, I would have loved to go out in the community more and had the opportunity to really interact with the locals.
104 people found this review helpful.
Response from IPSL Global Engagement at Westminster University

Hi Jayne...thank you so much for your kind review. I'm sorry that you did not have as much interaction with the local people as you desired. On short term Faculty-Led programs (like yours) our structure needs to be altered to allow the faculty to incorporate their required material. This often cuts into activities that would normally be a part of all IPSL programs such as living with a homestay family to experience family life and participating in 15+ hours of volunteer service with our grass roots, community organizations. These elements as well as the opportunity to do advocacy research with our partners provide in-depth interaction with locals and immersion in their culture that is not possible on other type of programs. IPSL tries to incorporate as much of these experiences as we can in every type of program and I am pleased that you were able to take part in some of these things.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Truly Immersive, One-of-a-kind Experience! Unlike any other Study Abroad

My experience with IPSL in Thessaloniki was truly life changing. I know that is a bit of a cliche to say that but I can honestly say that the programming components of this experience took my study abroad experience beyond what I was expecting and what I had experienced on other study abroad programs. As this was my second time studying abroad I was very particular about what kind of program I was looking for. I wanted something that gave me a look into Greek life. I definitely found that with IPSL through their course work, homestays and my service on the farm. The service I completed on the dairy farm in Thessaloniki was actually the most powerful aspect of my time there. Working along Greek students and dairy professionals I gained a whole new sense of animal production, Greek lifestyle, European politics and more. I especially cherish my time where we took breaks in the dairy farm labor to have frappes (foamed, sugary, iced coffee) and talk about their lives and farming in the context of Greece. I learned more then I've ever learned in a agriculture course in those few months I was there. Nothing beats hand on experience in helping you better understand a culture, people, and way of life. I could not recommend this program enough to other students wishing to do something a little different and more meaningful for their study abroad experience!

What would you improve about this program?
Since we were serving at a school where other Greek students go I would have liked to interact more with them in my course work and service. I actually did interact with them a lot in my service but not so much in my course work. I do think that the fact I was there over summer had something to do with that as many of the students were on holiday.
101 people found this review helpful.
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